D&D General What are you prepping for your next D&D session? (+)

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
My remote "Revenants of Saltmarsh" game (basically also running through Ghosts of Saltmarsh + supplemental adventures for a different group so I don't have to prep as much) plays today, so I have been prepping/refining adapting Danger at Dunwater to make the central challenge be a skill challenge (adapted from Matt Colville's adaption of the 4E skill challenge) instead of an ad hoc point system.
 

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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I am preparing the lost city of Al-Shafadir, the city of Fire and Water, a city once ruled by the genie-rajahs long ago, before they retreated from the mortal world. Set in an active mountain caldera, the only entrance from the ground hidden behind the dunes for thousands of years, only recently uncovered.

Looters, traps, long-abandoned servants, and fell beasts that have come to call the place home. Something of an echo of the group's very first adventure, years ago, and an opportunity for the joy of simple exploration and discovering fabulous treasure....or fabulous danger, both are reasonably likely!
 

Musing Mage

Pondering D&D stuff
One PC has been accused of assault by another PC.

The 1st character was arrested and the trial session is upcoming. I have recruited a real life Lawyer friend of mine to sit in and act as one of the magistrates. So the PCs will have an impartial inquiry by someone who knows only the charges and not the situation.

Should be an interesting one! :geek:
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
One PC has been accused of assault by another PC.

The 1st character was arrested and the trial session is upcoming. I have recruited a real life Lawyer friend of mine to sit in and act as one of the magistrates. So the PCs will have an impartial inquiry by someone who knows only the charges and not the situation.

Should be an interesting one! :geek:
On of my favorite memories from a 2E game I ran in the 90s was a trial at sea, where one of the PCs had to serve as advocate for the captured pirates that had attacked the ship the PCs were passengers on!
 

pogre

Legend
My remote "Revenants of Saltmarsh" game (basically also running through Ghosts of Saltmarsh + supplemental adventures for a different group so I don't have to prep as much) plays today, so I have been prepping/refining adapting Danger at Dunwater to make the central challenge be a skill challenge (adapted from Matt Colville's adaption of the 4E skill challenge) instead of an ad hoc point system.
How did this work out?
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
How did this work out?
It worked out pretty great. It was my first time trying this. I basically set it up that as guest of the queen she wanted to get a sense of, the PCs were given the opportunity to explore the lair - going anywhere they wanted - and talk to anyone they wanted. The idea being that how the PCs acted and how her people would report back on their actions would be a reflection on them and the alliance with Saltmarsh they proposed (and if they were trustworthy enough to be told about the coming threat).

I very clearly told the PCs "this is a skill challenge, the goal of which is to win over the lizardfolk." They needed five successes and to avoid three failures. They could use any skill they were proficient in once each in a way they could argue might do something to win over the lizardfolk. So for example, since most of the lizardfolk could not speak common, the paladin in the group used Insight to get a better sense of what the lizardfolk meant the group awkwardly communicated with them using comprehend languages and some broken common and the few words the lizardfolk tongue the PCs were picked up. The bard in the group pointedly used persuasion in front of some lizardfolk guards to keep an NPC in the party from attacking the very rude and aggressive koalinth guests of the lizardfolk. Later, someone used their gaming tool kit to teach some off duty lizardfolk a game, and they used athletics to help the lowliest lizard folk in the tribe set up an elaborate banquet for a big council meeting - and so on. The most fun was helping with training/sparing and using a medicine check to see to the wounds of any hurt in practice - but playing out the sparring was cool. In the end, the PCs proved themselves worthy and were awarded with the chance to go out on a mission for the queen and be official friends of the tribe.
 

Gilladian

Adventurer
My PCs just killed off most of an enemy adventuring party whoambushed them in an alley. Now they need to figure out why and either prove to the watch they were not the aggressors (the cook/innkeeper may or may not help them), or get out of Dodge. Then they need to do some research. This will entail a trip to “Candlekeep” where they will have an adventure, and will meet an erstwhile enemy who MIGHT be converted to an ally if the PCs negotiate in good faith.
 
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Jack Daniel

dice-universe.blogspot.com
I'm running my "Shade Isle" Campaign, where the player characters are exiles abandoned on an island poenal colony by a tyrannical police-state with a horrific ulterior motive for disposing of its criminals and malcontents in such a fashion. I don't need to prep a lot of content week to week, because I finished mapping out the island and its several dungeons years ago; but the kingdom navy does keep dropping off a fresh load of prisoners every few weeks, and this provides a constant source of new PCs and NPCs into the ramshackle village that serves as the campaign's starting home base.

This is the fourth time that I've run this particular campaign for a new group of players, and we're six sessions in. (Session seven commences this afternoon, 3 hours from now.) And so far, the party has managed to get a downright reputation-demolishing number of zero-level men-at-arms killed in the "training-wheels dungeon" nearest to the village. NPCs have not exactly been lining up to join the party on account of this, but fortunately for the group, another prison-ship will have dropped off some fresh exiles two days prior to when we pick things up again. (One week of game-time always passes between sessions, regardless of how many game-days go by during a session.)

And so, my prep has really just involved rolling some dice to see if any unusual events have taken place elsewhere on the island. (As the PCs have only done six sessions of dungeon exploration so far, they haven't really disturbed any major players in the setting yet and haven't triggered the possibility of larger events.) Mostly it's just checks for random weather events or unexpected disasters (rare) and the usual checks to re-stock cleared parts of the dungeon between delves, to see what new kinds of monsters have moved in. (The PCs already cleared out the dungeon's original goblinoid inhabitants, and then drove off the human bandits that moved in to take their place, and now there's little there but the odd wandering wild beast.) And apart from that, all I've had to do this morning is stat up a list of potential NPC recruits, which I'm going to do right now so that I can print them off and have them handy:

• Uldric & Unric, Normal Humans, HD 1 (hp 4 each), AC 3 (mail coats + round-shields), THAC0 19, DG 1d6 (Uldric's bearded axe and javelins, Unric's arming sword and hunting bow). A pair of bloodthirsty brothers who love violence for its own sake and are eager to join a band of mercenaries for a handful of silvers.
• Margax, NH, HD 1 (hp 4), AC 6 (boiled leathers + buckler), THAC0 19, DG 1d6 (spear). A tall, pious (some would say superstitious) woman from the distant southlands, she's devoted to her mysterious but nameless deity.
• Lerm, NH, HD 1 (hp 4), AC 5 (gambeson + heater shield), THAC0 19, DG 1d6 (footman's mace). A scrawny, cowardly slip of a lad who also happens to be a gourmet-level chef.
• Valca, NH, HD 1 (hp 4), AC 2 (mail coat + kite shield), THAC0 19, DG 1d6 (spear) or 1d8 (war sword). A proud shield-maiden from a disgraced noble lineage, she always fights wearing an elaborate helm that hides her face behind a bronze mask.
• Kaleel, NH, HD 1 (hp 4), AC 5 (mail coat), THAC0 19, DG 1d10 (halberd) or 1d6 (light crossbow). A cold-mannered, soft-spoken mercenary from the eastlands, he had aspired to become a merchant before getting transported to Shade Isle.
• Carmac, NH, HD 1 (hp 4), AC 7 (gambeson), THAC0 19, DG 1d10 (zweihänder) or 1d5 (sling). A portly, jolly, and utterly reckless gloryhound whose only goal is to make a name for himself as a warrior.
• Thisbe, Veteran (F1), S12 I15 W14 D8 C10 X7, hp 8, AC 2 (plate cuirass + buckler), THAC0 19 (20 with missiles), DG 1d6 (sabre or war bow). Formerly a devoted member of a now-dissolved mercenary company, Thisbe was the group's tactical mastermind. When one clever plan too many fell apart thanks to pure dumb luck, the mercs found themselves out of a job, and Thisbe found herself on the wrong side of the law.
• Pogo, Hobbit Veteran (H1), S15 I10 W12 D13 C10 X10, hp 6, AC 5 (mail coat), THAC0 19 (17 with missiles), DG 1d6 (hunting bow) or 1d8 (war sword). An extremely cautious and fair-minded halfling lass, she was brought up from girlhood to serve in the "Bounders," the guardians who patrolled the border of her homeland. There is no clear reason as to why she got pinched by the kingdom police and sentenced to exile.
• Thames, Rogue (T1), S11 I7 W9 D12 C8 X6, hp 4, AC 7 (gambeson), THAC0 19, DG 1d6 (light crossbow) or 1d6/1d2 (arming sword & dagger), Thv 50%, Per 35%, Acr 85%. A boorish, tactless half-wit, Thames has only known a life of crime and misfortune. His upbringing has made him untrustworthy and a bully, but he's also never known real kindness or friendship.
• Elsa, Dwarf Veteran (D1), S14 I10 W11 D15 C10 X7, hp 8, AC 1 (plate cuirass + heater shield), THAC0 19, DG 1d6 (double-bitted axe) or 1d4 (throwing hammers). A young dwarf warrior, somewhat naïve about the wider world, but stalwart and perceptive. She has a keen distaste for both mining and smithing, and she will not react calmly to anyone who tries to treat her as a dwarvish stereotype.
• Damasquibbus, Medium (MU1), S6 I14 W13 D9 C6 X13, hp 4, AC 9, THAC0 19, DG 1d6 (staff) or 1d4 (dagger). An arrogant oddball, this mage speaks quickly and often unintelligibly, thanks to a penchant for sesquipedalian loquaciousness. He was brought up as an alchemist's apprentice and still carries with him many flasks of volatile substances, some of which he passes off as genuinely magical. First Level Grimoire: Detect Magic, Read Languages, Read Magic, Ventriloquism.
 
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Gilladian

Adventurer
My PCs just killed off most of an enemy adventuring party whoambushed them in an alley. Now they need to figure out why and either prove to the watch they were not the aggressors (the cook/innkeeper may or may not help them), or get out of Dodge. Then they need to do some research. This will entail a trip to “Candlekeep” where they will have an adventure, and will meet an erstwhile enemy who MIGHT be converted to an ally if the PCs negotiate in good faith.
Well, they got out of Dodge, went to Candlekeep, avoided my mini-adventure, refused to dealwith their enemy, and now one PC has been kidnapped, possibly by said enemy (actually HIS one-time ally now almost enemy who are sort of betraying him).
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Prep for my Masks of the Imperium (D&D 5e) campaign is pretty straightforward. I know what their immediate term goals are: follow the escaped Circle of the Dawn druids back to their underground grotto and rescue the comatose wood elves that they implanted Root Hearts into. I have the druids - these two escaped from getting ambushed by the players. I need a 2-3 area cave complex map, something tricksy in getting in, interesting terrain, and some additional plant-based defenders to spice up the fight.

They may side quest to figure out how to remove the Root Hearts before they bloom and consume the real heart - and the souls - of the elves, or they may leave that to the wood elves who they have a strong positive relationship with already. Need some details for either way with that, but likely it will be a player-suggested solution for me to riff off of.

After that they are going after the raised noble uncle of one of the PCs, who the PC has killed in a duel in backstory, and is currently one of the anchors on the Council of Nobles supporting that the 13 y.o Child-Empress that the party supports needed a Regent, which took her from power. They aren't going to get into the thick of this next session, but I need enough so that they can gather information and then have until the next session to prepare. Especially because while the uncle is one of the most unambivilantly evil villian in the whole campaign so far, he's not unlawful and the guards and everyone are citizens of the Imperium doing their jobs. So it can't be a murderhobo type deal. Need to come up with information about when he'd be out-and-about like important weddings and celebrations, or if it's going to be a stealth mission through the childhood keep of one of the PCs.
 

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